My latest NPR adventure: NBC's ratings success a warning bell for network TV business
After years serving as a serious punchline in the TV biz, NBC climbed from worst to first in the crucial 18 to 49 ratings this fall.
The occasion merited stories in the New York Times and a sigh of relief from some critics (okay, me) who saw the network's latest entertainment head, former Showtime executive Bob Greenblatt, as a smart, creative guy working hard to bring good shows back to the Peacock Network.
But the way NBC won it's crown -- on the strength of unscripted shows The Voice and Sunday Night Football -- hints at a dark future for network TV, where few new shows were considered successes this year and no new program emerged as a breakout hit. (No, adventure drama Revolution retaining much of The Voice's massive lead-in audience on Mondays doesn't count.)
Here's my NPR piece exploring it all below: